ON SITE

Quality control: Inspection schedule

In NI, your local authority will arrange a set number of mandatory inspections for your build. You will have to notify your building control officer when they are to call on site. You can also ask them to call out when you feel necessary to check work you are unsure about is being carried out in compliance with the building regulations; they will do their best to accommodate such additional requests

Remember that their role is to check compliance with the regulations, anything outside of this is not within their remit. Some officers will be used to working with certain methods and materials and if you are using unusual techniques, the input of a professional architectural designer will be especially useful to consult with the building control officer on site.The only cost to you are the statutory application fees. 

Building Control inspections will check works relating to the separately-issued consent to discharge domestic effluent, but will not check for compliance with planning approval conditions.

In ROI there is no independent system to check compliance with the building regulations, despite changes to the building control regulations over the years. Local authority building control officers do not inspect self-build sites, unless they decide to do a spot inspection (which is rare). It is up to them to assess which projects should be subject to risk based inspections as are supposed to be typically undertaken on at least 12 to 15 per cent of validly commenced building units, in line with its statutory function of monitoring building activity in general within its geographic area. 

In ROI the self-builder must choose one of two self-certification routes: the opt in or opt out route. In either case you must pay the certifier’s professional fees, for which you will need to shop around. At the time of writing the fees for an engineer to oversee the construction for opt out was around the four thousand mark, including construction drawings and certification. 

For opt in you are looking at 10 thousand plus, partly because of the administrative cost. The certifier, who is called an Assigned Certifier, will need to get ancillary certificates from the trades and suppliers for labour and materials and upload each on the Building Control Management System.  

If you have appointed an Assigned Certifieri.e. you have opted in, they will have an inspection schedule organised for you. If you have opted out, you will still need someone qualified, who is not your builder, to oversee the key stages of the build. This person will certify the build at the end and give you a certificate of completion, which is necessary for conveyancing purposes (selling the house were the need to arise). This person overseeing your project (your architectural designer, engineer or building surveyor) is likely to use the Department of Housing template for Assigned Certifiers.  

Separately, if you have taken out a structural warranty, your warranty provider will issue you with an inspection schedule as well.  

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